Visitor dies after East End dive trip

| 23/04/2018 | 30 Comments

(CNS): A 70-year-old woman who was visiting the Cayman Islands from the United States died on Friday after scuba diving in East End. Police said emergency services were called out around 9am after the woman had encountered difficulties on the dive. Despite attempts at CPR, the victim was pronounced dead after she was taken to Cayman Islands Hospital by ambulance. Police have not yet identified the woman or indicated where she was diving.

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Category: Local News

Comments (30)

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  1. WENDELL D DELOACH says:

    I’m 66 years old i have been diving since 1973(anyone remember NASDS certification)i make around 40 dives a year i get 2 checkups during each year just to have things checked out i call it preventive care i don’t smoke never have as you get older just use your common sense when it comes to your health an you should be ok diving as long as you want.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Obviously, a complex problem. Not so sure a simple age restriction offers much of a solution. As a 60 y/o M.D., a recent PADI certified diver, and having to emergently care for a patient suffering from decompression sickness, I have spent a fair bit of time thinking about this topic. Here are two recent, if interested.

    http://archive.rubicon-foundation.org/xmlui/bitstream/handle/123456789/9329/DAN_Fatalities_8.pdf

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK424397/

    There are certainly those with way more knowledge than I that have devoted entire careers to this topic. Looking at the numbers, when you ‘play by the rules’ it seems that recreational diving remains a safe sport. Interestingly, a huge chunk of those injured are experienced divers.

    Requiring predive clearance by a M.D. offers little help. Patients need to take responsibility for their own health. The vast majority of M.D. have little knowledge of diving and would have no idea how to clear someone for diving (D.M., hypertension, all risks factors but not exclusionary). However, I wonder if a required simple mandated question asked before any organized dive might help drop the numbers a bit. If the dive leader where to ask, just before the group enters the water, if anyone has any significant cardiac, pulmonary or health problems. At least he could be aware of those potentially at highest risk and keep that buddy team near his fins. He would be able to keep a closer eye on those (at maybe) greater risk and offer quick help is something became amiss. Diving is going to continue to be thriving sport, tweaking at it to make it safer makes sense.

  3. 2 Cents says:

    Hmmm curious on what our Paramedics and EMTs take on the drownings are? After all they are the ones picking these unfortunately cases up and providing the resuscitation efforts.

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  4. Patricia Bryan says:

    I think the government should start looking at laws to protect our local dive companies?

    Do the company have disclaimers that these swimmers/divers are required to sign?

    Are divers/snorklers/swimmers especially seniors–required to show a bill of health to be able to embark on these excursions?
    They should be (the same as proof of premarital counseling is now required locally to have one’s marriage officiated).

    For years my mind has told me to bring this up…simply for the fact that I believe someone/or a family may one day want to sue the dive company or whoever set up the deceased’s adventure.

    These people save their earnings for retirement age then unfortunately pass while enjoying ?????.

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  5. Anonymous says:

    Per capita, Grand Cayman sees far more snorklers and divers than most other Caribe islands. Far more!
    Unfortunately that means there’s a chance accidents and mortality rate can be higher.
    In the last 5 years, how many tourists (or locals for that matter) below 50 years of age have perished while enjoying the sea?
    Plenty.
    I don’t mean to downplay the significance of good health and age, but you’re just as lucky to die from a car accident as you would from an health related diving accident. Sorry, but stats are stats.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Stop diving in East End.

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  7. Anonymous says:

    Living is the leading cause of death. Might as well die happy.

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  8. Bertie :B says:

    Duh ! it isn’t the age of people , its their health ! simple really , my friend can swim circles around me , I am 64 he is 92 .

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  9. Concerned says:

    If the Water Sports Industry does not soon implement better safety precautions the Cayman Islands will be known not just as an excellent diving destination but a ‘death by diving destination’.

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  10. Anonymous says:

    Careful on that comment. I’ve witnessed plenty mature divers enter the water and dive with great ease and caution. While age is a factor to consider in this sport, it’s not a reason to suggest diving at that age is dangerous.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Everything you do at 60-70 is more dangerous than when you were 20. It’s obvious all the elderly water deaths are heart attacks. Maybe they would have died even if they had not gone snorkeling/diving, but we don’t see many 70-somethings falling dead off their barstools.

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    • Anonymous says:

      10:45 And as a 20-years experienced PADI MSDT who retired from diving at 61 after my annual medical picked up a couple of minor issues I can also tell you that there are a heck of a lot of ‘mature’ (and not so mature!) divers out there who should have quit the sport years ago. This is like people who carry on driving when they’re almost blind and, as with driving, there needs to be an age cut off point after which medical clearance for scuba diving becomes mandatory. Personally, based on a few near misses, I’d put it at 50-years-old.

      In all cases like this my sympathies are with the deceased’s family and also with all those involved in her rescue. However, if look at the recent inquest reports it becomes quite clear that people are going into the water with ongoing medical issues that are incompatible with not just scuba diving but also snorkeling and that problem needs to be addressed.

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  11. Anonymous says:

    Sorry but scuba diving is not a good idea at that age.

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    • Anonymous says:

      why not? Please don’t discriminate against people based on their age.

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      • Anonymous says:

        10:24 I’m a 67-year-old former PADI and CMAS instructor. It’s nothing to do with discrimination this is about whether or not you’re fit to scuba dive and without mandatory medicals exams most people don’t understand the risks involved.

        I’ve dived a number of places that require you to produce a valid fitness to dive medical certificate or have an on-site medical but I can come here, put scuba gear on and dive 100′ after simply filling in a silly little waiver. Why is that? MONEY! CIG are scared spitless that sensible regulation will drive tourists away.

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        • Anonymous says:

          I agree, my uncle stopped diving 2 years ago at 72 only after a medical he took told him he had a heart condition that would be dangerous for a diver. He and my dad dove together all the time and my dad is 3 years older and still dove but only after a physical clears him before he goes on vacation. Last time he visited me he told me he was surprised he was allowed to dive only after signing a waiver. He decided to stop this year because of a cardio-pulmonary anomaly that developed end of last year. It’s not age it’s health and common sense.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Why not? Can you read? She died, and it seems that the vast majority of divers and snorkelers who die in the Cayman Islands are most often elderly.

        Not discriminatory just sensible.

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